Monday, July 22, 2013

The Environment and Women’s Health and Fertility

The sad story from India of the school children dying and sickened from exposure to an insecticide that got into school lunches has reminded us of the dangers of exposure to chemicals.

Not that some of us need reminding. These chemicals are far more dangerous than many people realize. It is often not possible to clean a container, which has held these chemicals well enough to reuse it.

Most chemicals come with use instructions that people never even read.

To illustrate, we were walking in our neighborhood one afternoon and came upon one of our neighbors spraying herbicide/weed killer on the weeds in her yard. She was wearing shorts and flip-flops while she sprayed this chemical.

We generally just let the weeds grow because we feel they are far less harmful than the chemicals. We use a weed-eater to keep a clear perimeter around the house and call it done.

We suggested to her that she wear boots and a coverall that could be cleaned or even thrown away after she was finished.

While manufacturers of these chemicals insist they are harmless to humans even they would expect people to exercise reasonable caution.

It’s not my first experience with people who are too careless with their lives and their children’s lives and yard chemicals.

Another woman we knew, a nursing mother, was also spraying weed killer on her yard while wearing shorts and flip-flops.

An older relative of mine loved to spray weed killer on her yard and gardens. She did it for years without taking many precautions. She now has dementia and began developing it relatively young and atypically from ordinary Alzheimer disease.

Of course these experiences we have had pale by comparison when you consider the chemicals many farmers use. Often they are concentrated and must be diluted before they are applied.

A young farmer dripped just a drop or two of insecticide on his leg and nearly died. He was in a coma for over two weeks. When he finally regained consciousness doctors were unsure whether his poisoning would have long term consequences.

We had a friend whose family story is probably the ultimate as a cautionary tale about herbicides and pesticides.

The family had a farm where they regularly used these types of chemicals. The consequences were severe.

1.       The father died of cancer.
2.       The children…all 4 of them...had cancer at young ages.
3.       The youngest died of breast cancer in her early 40’s.
4.       Of the 4 children…2 boys and 2 girls…only one ever had a child (one).

The consequences made them more likely to develop cancer and mostly infertile, too. Pesticides and fertility don’t mix.

Be careful with that stuff and avoid exposure as much as possible. Those chemicals that are so harmful are the real reason to buy organic foods, regardless of expense.

Our president and everyone who serves in the US Congress and Senate eat organic foods. That’s what they insist on having. What do they know that we don’t?

Resource Box

Georgette and Ron Pauls are lifestyle specialists. You won’t find the usual textbook lifestyle advice on their blog. Learn more about the environment and fertility at Fertility and the Environment.

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